Ismaaiyl Brinsley, the man who shot two NYPD officers in Brooklyn before committing suicide in a subway station on Saturday clearly wanted others to see the world through his eyes before he killed officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu.
According to the Associated Press, 28-year-old Brinsley approached some people on the street asking them to follow him on the picture-sharing social media site, Instagram and saying “Watch what I’m going to do.”
“Moments before opening fire, Ismaaiyl Brinsley approached people on the street and asked them to follow him on Instagram, then told them, “Watch what I’m going to do,” Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said.
A portrait of the Brooklyn-born gunman emerged as big-city police departments and union leaders around the country warned officers to change up their routines and insist on extra backup a day after Brinsley carried out what he portrayed online as retaliation for the slayings of black men at the hands of white police.”
There are questions about Brinsley’s mental state, as his mother believed that he had undiagnosed metal health issues. Investigators are looking into those claims. In the past several years, the man had a string of arrests between Georgia and Ohio, where he’d lived at different points in time.
“Brinsley, 28, had at least 19 arrests in Georgia and Ohio, spent two years in prison for gun possession and had a troubled childhood so violent that his mother was afraid of him, police said. He ranted online about police and the government and expressed “self-despair and anger at himself and where his life was,” Boyce said.”
Prior to shooting officers Ramos and Liu, Brinsley was in Baltimore where he shot his ex-girlfriend in the abdomen before leaving for New York to visit his infant child.